PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network)- No. 1 New Hampshire scored an easy, 56-0, win against Iona to maintain its position at the top of The Sports Network I-AA Top 25 poll. The Wildcats improved to 9-1 for the season, and can clinch the Atlantic 10 automatic berth with a win at home against Maine on Saturday. New Hampshire picked up 58 of a possible 103 first-place votes and 2,522 points to land at No. 1 for the second week in a row and fourth week this season.
Hampton defeated Florida A & M, 34-14, to improve to 10-0 and keep the No. 2 spot in the rankings. Montana won at Sacramento State to hold the No. 3 position. With Southern Illinois and Massachusetts losing, Furman jumped up two spots to No. 4 and Texas State went up two positions to No. 5.
Appalachian State earned the Southern Conference automatic berth with a 35-7 win against Western Carolina, and the Mountaineers also vaulted two spots to No. 6. Massachusetts is down two spots to No. 7 after a loss at Army, while Georgia Southern moved two places to No. 8. Coastal Carolina stays put at No. 9, with Northern Iowa making a four-spot leap to enter the top 10. The Panthers knocked off Southern Illinois, 25-24, to earn the automatic bid to the playoffs out of the Gateway.
Southern Illinois is down seven spots to No. 11 after the loss to UNI. Lehigh is up one position to No. 12. Cal Poly and Grambling State are up two spots each to No. 13 and No. 14, respectively. Youngstown State vaulted four rungs to No. 15 after a 42-10 win against Western Kentucky.
South Carolina State is at No. 16, with Richmond at No. 17, Brown at No. 18, Eastern Washington at No. 19 and North Dakota State at No. 20.
Eastern Illinois, Montana State, Western Kentucky, Illinois State and Nicholls State complete the top 25. Illinois State and Nicholls State enter the rankings this week, with the Colonels making their first appearance in the poll since 2003.
21 of the top 25 teams are in action this weekend, with critical games for the playoff chase all over the country. No. 3 Montana visits No. 22 Montana State and No. 11 Southern Illinois hosts No. 20 North Dakota State in matchups between ranked opponents.
|Team (First-place votes)||Record||Points||Previous Rank|
|1. New Hampshire Wildcats (58)||9-1||2,522||1|
|2. Hampton Pirates (39)||10-0||2,410||2|
|3. Montana Grizzlies (3)||8-2||2,371||3|
|4. Furman Paladins||8-2||2,167||6|
|5. Texas State Bobcats||8-2||1,996||7|
|6. Appalachian State Mountaineers (3)||7-3||1,942||8|
|7. Massachusetts Minutemen||7-3||1,846||5|
|8. Georgia Southern Eagles||8-3||1,747||10|
|9. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers||9-1||1,676||9|
|10. Northern Iowa Panthers||7-3||1,622||14|
|11. Southern Illinois Salukis||7-3||1,525||4|
|12. Lehigh Mountain Hawks||8-2||1,441||13|
|13. Cal Poly Mustangs||7-3||1,377||15|
|14. Grambling State Tigers||8-1||1,088||16|
|15. Youngstown State Penguins||8-3||1,062||19|
|16. South Carolina State Bulldogs||8-2||1,037||17|
|17. Richmond Spiders||7-3||912||18|
|18. Brown Bears||8-1||725||20|
|19. Eastern Washington Eagles||6-4||712||21|
|20. North Dakota State Bison||7-3||641||22|
|21. Eastern Illinois Panthers||8-2||625||23|
|22. Montana State Bobcats||6-4||495||11|
|23. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers||6-4||451||12|
|24. Illinois State Redbirds||7-4||283||NR|
|25. Nicholls State Colonels||5-3||226||NR|
Others receiving votes: James Madison 205, Alabama A&M 86, Colgate 81, McNeese State 51, Jacksonville State 41, Lafayette 40, San Diego 36, UC Davis 21, Hofstra 20, Portland State 10, Chattanooga 10.